Departing Costa Rica :(((

As I prepare to leave Costa Rica and end my first study abroad experience, I look back to reflect on what I have learned, specifically about the specifics of coffee production.  As you might imagine, as someone who came to this trip not knowing the difference between a dark and medium roast, I have learned…

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work: Exploring Santa Maria de Dota

Today we visited Santa Maria de Dota, a cooperative community of coffee farms working together to become successful in the coffee industry.  Out of the 900 coffee producers which make up Dota, almost all of them are small coffee farms owns and operated by a family.  This holds several advantages for those small farms which…

Foreign Investment Influence in Costa Rica

Today we had the honor of exploring Costa Rica’s famous Cloud Forest.  The second we arrived, we were greeted by the enchanting presence of the mix of secondary and primary rain forests.  This is a beauty which needs to be preserved, as many of the wildlife and plant life native to the area has become…

Life Monteverde: The Life of a Tico Farmer

Today we visited Life Monteverde, a medium to large sized beautiful coffee farm.  Through this experience we were able to learn about farming in mountainous regions and aspects of a typical farmer’s lifestyle.  Upon talking to Don Guillermo and various other members of Life Monteverde, I have found that their lifestyle is one of much…

The Greener Side of Costa Rica: Exploring Monteverde

Today I saw a wild peacock for the first time in my life. I also saw an armadillo, a white nosed coati, and a variety of cool looking birds and insects.  The variety of wildlife and greenery which I have seen demonstrates a distinct difference between the Central Valley (San Jose and Heredia), and Monteverde. …

Planting the Seeds of the Future: San Jose, from Rural to Urban

For today’s adventure, we traveled to San Jose for a walking tour.  Along the way we learned about the history of Costa Rica, from the indigenous people who occupied the area to its colonization by the Spanish and ultimate independence. San Jose reminds me of me of Pittsburgh in a couple  respects, such as its…

Caffeinated in Costa Rica: A look at the Coffee Industry

Today we had the honor of being given a tour of Doka and Cafe Britt’s coffee farms.  In particular, Cafe Britt was very impressive to me, both as a coffee exporter and as a successful company providing various other services.  Cafe Britt is has over 130 stores in more than 15 countries encompassing everything from…

Looking at the Costa Rican Economy

Today we received a lecture from Dr. Jose Sanchez about the state of Costa Rica’s economy.  In response, I chose three questions to analyse based on my newly acquired knowledge of economics. First, why was the Costa Rican economy so successful in the 90s but has seemed to decline in recent times? Costa Rica had…

Exploring the City of Flowers

Today our Plus3 group had a wonderful introduction to the beautiful city of Heredia.  My roommate and I woke up to a delicious breakfast consisting of scrambled eggs, toast, and fresh mangoes and papayas. The weather in the morning was everything I had hoped for, a beautiful mid-80 degree sun-filled start to my day.  Along…

Costa Rica: Creating a Sustainable Tomorrow

As an outsider with very little knowledge of Costa Rica, I was surprised to find out about the country’s role in sustainable practices, such as reducing carbon emissions and preserving forested areas.  As it turns out, the country is recognized as 2nd in the world in “environmental sustainability” by the World Energy Council. Through the…

Meet Plus3 Costa Rica 2018!

Welcome to the Costa Rica Plus3 Study Abroad Program! Professor Ryan Teeter and Laura Caroll, Academic Advisor, are traveling to the Costa Rican Central Valley, Monteverde, and Tarrazu with 24 College of Business Administration and Swanson School of Engineering students from May 5 – May 19. In addition to numerous cultural experiences, the trip will…